Welcome to the
How do we choose the winners?
The entrant thinks or works differently from their peers, and can prove it
Find out the winners
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The entrant is driving change at their organisation, with evidence of adoption
There is a clear demonstration
of success – whether through collaboration or independent work
The judginG process
Who are the judges?
Tap each person
What are these awards all about?
The Rising Stars Awards celebrate emerging talent in digital. Here we recognise and identify the sector's future leaders, as well as shining the spotlight on the organisations and individuals that help to foster and develop new talent in the industry.
In these unprecedented times, as the UK and many other countries navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals will be facing a unique and unforeseen set of challenges: working from home, balancing work and personal lives, and coping with personal and family stress while continuing to make great contribution to their businesses.
Open to anyone with less than 10 years in the IT space, or companies who are making a significant contribution to recognising and rewarding new talent, the Rising Stars Awards are an opportunity to focus on all of the positives to come from peoples' hard work and determination over the last year.
The Awards are not about young versus old; they are about celebrating and recognising the achievements of those at the beginning of their career in the sector - shining a spotlight on their success and championing the organisations that do the most to develop new talent in the digital industry.
find out more
About the sponsor
Delta is a new market analysis service from Computing that draws its research from independently sourced end-users. It reveals the real experiences of senior IT professionals, rather than the opinion of analysts or vendor hype. As an IT Leader you will no doubt be time-poor, bombarded with information and expected to have a broad and deep understanding of every technology area, including all the latest developments. Delta provides deep and easily-digestible insight into the key technology areas for today’s IT leaders just like you.
London South Bank University
Alex Denley is Director of Innovation and Transformation at London South Bank University. A multi-award winning senior IT leader and visionary, noted for his disruptive stance and approach to transforming the way his students interact with technology, Alex has overall accountability on technology modernisation spend for one of London’s top Universities, aligning strategy with benefits realisation to achieve his goals. A member of the UK Governance Board for BETT, being a Judge for the UK Business Awards and also ranking within the accredited CIO 100.
With over 16 years of experience, he has led the technology teams for some of the most exciting visitor attractions in the UK, including the prestigious London Eye. Combined with experience in running technology programs for Barclays Investment Bank and delivering 5 star experiences within London’s thriving hospitality market. He has leveraged technology to modernise, transform and innovate; striving for world-class customer service with operational efficiencies at the forefront.
A creative and adaptable IT team leader with over 30 years of experience in the media sector working for well-known companies such as The Walt Disney Company and Twentieth Century Fox.
Selected by Computing Magazine as one of the top 250 IT leaders in the UK and to be a steering committee member for the UK IT Leaders Festival. Speaker for Twentieth Century Fox at Box’s internal conference. Provided mentorship to students as part of Connect Mentors, at the UK IT Leaders Festival, and to IT interns at Twentieth Century Fox.
Set and delivered complex IT strategy across Europe. Expertise in troubleshooting, leadership, service delivery, project management and customer experience.
Delivered millions of Dollars in savings, and efficiencies, while improving SLAs and customer experience.
Passionate about using technology to drive business productivity and growth.
David is RSA’s Group, UK & I CIO and leads the long-term technology / transformation vision. He is responsible for transforming both the way that IT is operated and how it interfaces with the overall business. Including reshaping new ways of improving the customer experience and optimising business performance. Prior to joining RSA, David worked for a number of world leading Banking institutions in C-suite roles. 2020 FDM everywoman in Technology Woman in Technology panel judge.
David was voted Top 10 BAME (UK Black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals who are driving change) leader influencing the technology sector in 2019 by the Financial Times. 2019 Finalist at the British Black Business Awards in the STEM (Science, Technology, English and Maths) category. 2019 Finalist at the ITA Awards for services to Technology.
One of the youngest Fortune 500 technology executives and FTSE 100 technology executives. David is also a Non-Executive Director and Advisor on a number of UK boards and committees.
David is married with three children.
As VP of Data and Analytics for Barclays Wealth Technology Division, Henry leads a global team and oversees multiple platforms and services that provide client and reference data to applications within the Wealth ecosystem. He has partnered with the Business and Operations to deliver key integration, regulatory change, and transformation programmes with a focus on data and technology strategy and the overall governance and control. His balanced technical knowledge and business acumen, coupled with the tenacity to solve problems has served him well on both sides from the Atlantic when he relocated from NY to London, allowing him to broaden his global experience. Henry also has a keen interest in diversity and inclusion. He has co-chaired and sat on various committees (internal and industry-wide) to discuss challenges and share best practices to ensure firms are committed to employee development and supporting all D&I agendas.
Phil Scully is the Group CIO for Costa responsible for corporate and customer systems globally. He joined Costa Coffee in 2017 from parent company Whitbread and has been building and leading the Costa IT function through a significant period of Digital Transformation and from 2019 the successful separation of all systems and data from Whitbread following the acquisition of Costa by The Coca-Cola Company. Prior to Costa he was Group CTO for 3 years at Whitbread with responsibility for Architecture, Data and Information Security functions. He has 30 years’ experience in the IT industry working in technology and delivery leadership roles on large, complex transformation agendas for BAA, Centrica, M&S and Whitbread.
John is an experienced IT leader who focuses on where technology can improve business performance from concepts to delivery. He is passionate about digital innovation and has driven a number of new global first.
With the advances in customer facing systems and mobile technology, he believes that IT can now be a true enabler. He is also a believer that there are many options and an incredible number of ways IT can bring value, but selecting the right one which delivers most value is key.
He had overall responsibility for ‘change’ as well as technology within Virgin Trains and believes that one of the key aspects for successful project delivery is getting the right innovation process. If you can capture the imagination of your stakeholders using your vision, you are half way to success.
Nick is Head of Information Technology for Saunderson House, an award-winning independent firm of wealth managers focused on private clients. Nick plays a leading role in defining and supporting the business lead technology strategies across the organisation. He has 25 years’ of experience working within financial services in roles within technology, operations and client advice at firms including Jupiter Asset Management and BDO LLP.
Diana Moldovan is currently the UK Cyber Operations Lead for Aviva, where she leads the Incident Response and Threat Hunting team.
Previously Diana worked for Deloitte where she was a manager in the Cyber Incident Response team and collaborated with several blue chip clients working on multiple areas of security including incident response, memory forensic analysis, threat intelligence, vulnerability management and attack detection.
Before that, Diana worked for Betfair. During the 5 years, Diana was part of the Threat and Vulnerability Management team, being responsible for monitoring, detection, analysis and response to threats.
Diana is a board member of She CISO Exec, a sustainable global training and mentoring platform in information security and leadership.
Diana is a CISSP, GCIH, GCIA, GSEC and PRINCE2 certified professional with 9 years of experience in the Cyber Security field.
Kath Moore is the Chief Information Officer, Business Optimisation Solutions, within the Wealth and Personal Banking Team in HSBC. She leads a team of around 800 designers and engineers, in 12 countries, delivering Intelligent Automation and Communication solutions to customers across the globe. She has 30 years experience in the Financial Services Industry across Technology and Operations and describes her experience as quill pen to robot. She is a passionate advocate for Diversity in Technology and an active mentor of new female talent. She feeds her “inner geek” with an active interest in the application of Artificial Intelligence to improve customer experience and is still seeking a bot that can manage wardrobe effectively.
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Mike has led innovation and technological change at WPA, a leading UK Health Insurer, for over 20 years. Mike strives to keep WPA at the leading edge of technology disruption and transformation, implementing agile solutions that drive the business forward and deliver competitive advantage. Mike’s team has won more than ten industry awards in the last five years for their innovative solutions.
His academic background includes a BSc in Business Computer Science, an MSc in International Financial Management and an MBA. Mike has a special interest in developing systems to improve automation by utilising Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, having gained relevant qualifications at MIT and Swansea University.
Prior to WPA, Mike’s varied work experience across Europe has included financial institutions, technology companies, the European Space Agency and the United Nations.
Mike is a frequent attendee at insurance market and technology events where he often speaks or debates as part of a panel.
The Wellcome Trust
Jack Hayward is Head of Information Security for the medical research charity The Wellcome Trust. Jack is tasked with ensuring information security across a diverse organisation that simultaneously operates a museum and library, research funding, and a major investments team. Focusing on human-centric security and developing security services that support innovation, Jack is helping Wellcome to protect itself without losing sight of what it needs to do to improve health and help great ideas to thrive.
In his nearly thirty-year IT career, Mark has practiced nearly all the roles that the profession offers and in the last five years has particularly focussed on transforming corporate IT delivery functions using modern software development practices. Having almost always worked with globally dispersed teams, Mark is particularly experienced in embracing cultural diversity within organisational development and as well as being an active mentor in his own organisation he is also a university mentor, continuing to help bridge the gap between academia and industry. Having started as the equivalent of a modern-day intern, Mark is passionate about using his leadership opportunities to identify and nurture early career talent, as well as to guide individuals on their learning journeys throughout their careers.
Tom Allen is the Site Editor for Delta, Computing's market intelligence service, and writes for both Computing and The Inquirer. He joined Incisive Media in 2017 from the display industry, trading LCDs and quantum dots for big data and the IoT. As well as tech market analysis, Tom's role consists of interviewing C-level IT leaders, organising events and complaining about improper use of the Oxford comma.
Editorial Director, Computing & Delta
Editorial Director of Computing and Delta
During his time at Incisve Media he has overseen the transition of Computing from a print-first publication, to a truly multi-channel media brand encompassing events, website and apps, whilst ensuring it retains the same depth and authority of content on which its reptuation is founded.
Previously he spent 10 years in the IT industry as a programme manager, where he was responsible for the delivery of corporate WAN rollouts for global blue-chip companies.
Stuart has also written for Time Out and IPC Media, and in his spare time writes scripted comedy for TV and radio.
Diana has been with BP since 2010, firstly leading the Strategy and Architecture function for the Enterprise Systems group, and latterly for the Upstream Business. In addition, Diana led the Information and Big Data Agenda for the group until February 2017 when she was appointed Vice President, Strategy, Architecture and Planning for BP.
Prior to BP, Diana was Head of Architecture and Technology for British Gas, part of the Centrica group, where she led the solutions team for the retail transformation of British Gas. Diana started her career in consulting, firstly with Boston Consulting Group and subsequently PwC, where she held senior design and architecture roles, predominantly in the financial services and insurance sector.
Diana holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a post-graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of London and an MBA from Henley Business School. She has three children and competes for Great Britain in Masters Athletics in her spare time.
Janet Adams is a long-term enthusiast in artificial intelligence and recently completed a Master’s degree in AI at the University of Essex. A disruptive tech advocate with over two decades of experience in banking risk and technology, Janet currently works at TSB Business Banking as Head of Strategic Projects and Performance.
Janet’s experience extends across commercial and investment banking, and her resume includes the likes of HSBC, RBS and Barclays. Combining her published MSc dissertation on Explainability and Accountability of AI, with her special brand of technology, risk and conduct expertise, Janet has established herself as a thought leader in AI ethics in banking. Janet is committed to the principles of inclusivity and strongly believes that the AI revolution will play a significant role in furthering the work of strengthening diversity.
Nina is a data leader with a passion for driving value from data. Her work with the NHS identified over £1 billion of savings and won her, her organisation and strategic partners several awards for innovative use of cloud analytics. Nina currently works with AXA Health leading their ambitious data strategy and analytics activities.
Research Director, Computing
John Leonard is responsible for the setting up and running qualitative and quantitative surveys for Computing Research's clients in order to assess the opinions and experiences of IT professionals on issues important to the industry, such as cloud computing, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the IT decision making process as a whole.
Recognising a company who has gone above and beyond this year
Company of the Year
Training Scheme of the Year
Providing exceptional training
opportunities for new IT professionals
Analyst of the Year
Awarded to a real data hero
of the Year
Awarded to a professional
with a passion for security
Rising Star of
the Year – SME
A new starter who is helping their business on the road to success
Rising Star of
the Year – Large Organisations
Standing out from the crowd
Special Award: Apprentice of the Year
A person who has demonstrated both determination and development
Cloud Professional of the Year
For a professional who understands how to extract value
from the cloud
Rising Star of the Year – Financial Services
A young professional making waves in finance
The Rising Stars Awards highlight and honour the top new talent in the IT trade, as well as the companies, mentors and role models supporting it. More than anywhere else, innovation and evangelism are the name of the game.
Explore our 2020 Awards
Click on a category to reveal the winner
of the Year
An individual who embodies the principles of flexibility, adaptability and change
Find the winner
Active Fund Awards
of the Year
A proactive individual who has contributed digital excellence to their organisation
of the Year
Awarded to an individual with demonstrable excellence in entrepreneurship
Mentor of the Year
An individual who has gone above and beyond to support mentees
Team of the Year
Awarded to a team driving business advances through collaboration
of the Year
An outstanding developer who has a fresh new approach to challenges
Excellence in Support Award
An invaluable, front-line, problem-solving professional
of the year
An unseen and unsung asset who is making a real difference to their company
passive fund awards
Active fund awards
Who made the shortlist?
Back to categories
About this category
Understanding that healthy, well-supported IT staff create a strong and productive workforce is essential for every organisation. Whether through social events, mentoring programmes, wellbeing policy or tailored support from recruitment to promotion, this award, brand new for 2020, will be presented to a company that stands a cut above the rest in the industry for attracting, supporting and retaining new starters in IT.
CLICK TO REVEAl
Who's the winner?
Unify Communications Ltd.
"We love the idea of 'Influence' and could see this bringing wider benefits outside of their own organisation."
of the Year
Attracting the most promising new talent entering the industry means offering an inclusive training scheme that sits well above the rest. The Training Scheme of the Year Award will be presented to a company that understands potential and builds strong relationships with young talent through tailored support, flexibility and resulting goal achievement.
“This sounds awesome – it’s a great way for people starting out in IT to cross-train into Salesforce.”
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
The main value in a hybrid cloud deployment is agility: whether the goal is to save money (IT) or make it (business), hybrid cloud products can adapt and change direction quickly. Whether the entry combines public and private clouds, or one or both of those with on-premise solutions, this award is for a product that demonstrates the ability to bring platforms together simply, easily and usefully.
Invaluable to their organisations, analysts make up an essential part of the IT industry with their technical and statistical expertise, aptitude and strategic perspective. The recipient of this award should be leading the way in data analysis, showing demonstrable skills in their professional contributions and successful results of project work.
“Jay’s willingness to improve and grow is admirable, and the automation and improvement he created for his company has had a great impact.”
Jay Kotecha - Huel
Aykut Sadi -
Stat Solutions Ltd
of the Year
Roles centred around cloud computing are as vast and varied as the cloud itself. This award will be presented to an individual, from any role in the industry, who surpasses expectations and excels at elevating their company through their skills and professional growth.
Deepak Ramchandani Vensi
"The insight into developing others, bringing them along the journey and putting in place long term sustainable human and technical solutions, really struck us."
Sam Lloyd - Contino
Robert Slotte - Contino
Scott Collins - Contino
Vensi - Contino
Adam Lawrence -
Uri Wolloch - N2WS
DevOps Engineer of the Year
Agile and adaptable, security-savvy and exceeding expectations, DevOps engineers are masters of their profession and no strangers to a challenge. The DevOps Engineer of the Year should be able to demonstrate excellence in their role and evidence of how their skillset has benefitted their organisation in helping to adapt or implement DevOps within the company.
“The thinking around multi-tenant controls and release, and the evolution planned from internal to consumer use, really drilled into quality and repeatability.”
Jordan Taylor, Contino
Scott Collins, Contino
Fraser Darwent, Contino
Jake Setford, Redburn
Jyoti Khule, TBSC
Chelsea Urquhart, NuData Security
with Jordan Taylor, Contino highly commended
of the Year
There is, arguably, nothing more important than information and its protection, both on- and offline. As an ever-developing area, new starters are expected to rise and deliver quickly. This award will be presented to an individual involved in key projects within their firm and who is respected within the organisation for the key role they play and ideas they have contributed.
“Kate has a great attitude and is clearly working hard to set a great example for those around her.”
Shelton Newsham, Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit
James Davies, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Professional problem-solving is at the very heart of IT, and support desks are a common route into the industry. Without front-line staff making connections both internally and externally, building rapport with stakeholders and enhancing company targets by easing pain-points, satisfaction and success would certainly fall. This award will be presented to an individual with a record of supporting internal employees and stakeholders and who has worked hard to refine their expertise.
“A well-structured submission with plenty of evidence, and impressive achievements specifically in supporting LGBT, diversity, STEM and BAME.”
Urtina Gashi, Velez Managed Services
Joe Boyle, SaltDNA
Chanelle Pereira, Credit Suisse
Georgia Barker, ThoughtWorks
Personal and professional technology have become staples of modern life, and developers are responsible for delivering the skilled, technical expertise required to produce the apps and programmes we use every day. The Innovative Developer of the Year Award is for a developer seeking to explore new methods of problem solving and bringing fresh ideas to the table.
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of the Year
“Ayaka demonstrated a clear, well-reasoned thought process and gave a well-defined explanation of her impressive solution.”
Evandro Pioli Moro, British Telecommunications plc (BT)
with Zain Patel, QuantumBlack highly commended
Digital innovation often involves not only extraordinary individuals but outstanding groups of peers, pooling their expertise to drive progress: a perfect training environment for new starters. This award will be presented to a team of individuals who have combined their efforts to solve organisation challenges, bringing new entrants to IT along on the journey.
for Digital Public
University College London
“The overall impression is a team that enjoys and takes great pride in what it does.”
QuantumBlack Labs, QuantumBlack
Bytes for Heroes
LGSS Digital, LGSS
UCL Centre for Digital Public Health in Emergencies (dPHE), University College London
One Million Mentor team, ThoughtWorks
with QuantumBlack Labs, QuantumBlack highly commended
Without support and encouragement from experienced professionals, it is easy for new staff to lack confidence while learning the ropes, or to falter in their development. This award will be presented to a supportive individual who has provided assistance with setting targets, guiding mentees in skills development or their career path, getting to grips with new technology or providing emotional support.
“Joe makes great points about everyone
Urtina Gashi Velez
New recruits and those who guide them are often the overlooked and unseen foundations of organisations preoccupied with success and annual growth. This award will be presented to an individual who can show evidence of support for and development of new staff, working behind the scenes.
Unsung Hero of the Year
“Jayesh seems well placed as a mentor for
Jayesh Sondhi, Barclays
Successful entrepreneurs are expected to possess an array of abilities, from creativity, persistence and integrity to decisiveness and self-discipline. This new award will be presented to a motivated individual who has launched a new business, product or idea, with strong research and preparation before launch.
“We loved Caroline’s data cheerleader concept, and empathised with the frustration about business over-complicating the use of data.”
Joe Boyle, SaltDNA
Velez Managed Services
Carruthers and Jackson
Carruthers and Jackson
Digital Person of the Year
The drive to digital requires a proactive attitude and a willingness to tackle problems flexibly. Focusing on significant achievements with digital products or innovations, this year’s Digital Person of the Year will be an individual who can show how their hard work and motivation has benefited their company.
"The Matrix Challenge is well-known and a fantastic contribution to one of the key areas of consideration surrounding technology to date."
Deepak Ramchandani Vensi,
Shelton Newsham, Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit
with John Bailie, SaltDNA highly commended
Working in financial services means dealing with huge amounts of information on a daily basis, requiring a keen mind and inquiring nature to succeed. The winner in this category will showcase good market awareness, top-notch analytical skills and the knowledge of how to use technology to unlock the power of data.
“Abdur has identified a key issue affecting the chosen market, which will benefit us all and has led to clear business and security benefits.”
Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy, Barclays
Lloyds Banking Group
RSA Insurance Group plc
Rising Star of the Year – SME
Small businesses are a fantastic training ground for new IT professionals to learn about every area of the industry. Lower budgets force innovation and quick-thinking, and this is exactly what we wanted to see in our winner.
"The impact of Dilyan’s work is impressive, and he has a lot of responsibility. He has forged a clear path to success."
Specialist Computer Services (SCC)
Rising Star of the Year – Large Organisations
The scale of large enterprises presents a fascinating environment for new starters – and a challenging one. Our winner will be someone unfazed by IT sprawl, who can take a system that has grown organically over decades in their stride and find a way to make it work to their advantage.
“Grace shows great passion and breadth of knowledge, but really stands out in her sharing and evangelising of technology and reaching new audiences.”
University of Surrey
Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit
Georgiana Birjovanu, University College London
with Georgiana Birjovanu - University College London highly commended
Sometimes an entry is so outstanding that it deserves special recognition in a category
of its own. These entries are the subject of our Special Awards.
Apprentices are tasked with making a real difference to their workplace while soaking up as much experience and skill enhancement as possible. This person has worked hard to contribute towards their organisation, demonstrating the skills they have learned and the practices they have undertaken during their time as an apprentice.
“Matthew’s diligence and commitment to his role, as well as the drive to continue expanding his knowledge base, is inspiring.”
University of Derby